The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has once again restated his position never to negotiate with bandits and kidnappers identified to be Fulani herdsmen. Following the repeated attacks by criminals in some parts of the North, there have been calls by some Nigerians for government to negotiate with the criminals so they can lay down their arms.
Muslim Cleric, Sheik Gumi, has been championing the calls for negotiations with bandits as well as granting them blanket amnesty. Speaking at an expanded meeting of the state security council on Tuesday, 17th March 2021, Governor El-Rufai said his job as governor is to enforce law and help to prosecute people who commit offenses, and not tp negotiate with criminals like bandits.
According to his words;
“We will not engage with bandits or kidnappers. Private Citizens like clerics and clergymen can do so in their individual capacities, to preach to them and ask them to repent. We also want them to repent but it is not our job to ask them to do so” he said.
On the best way to solve the farmer-herder clashes, cattle rustling, and banditry in the region, Governor El-Rufai said nomadic herdsmen should live more sedentary lives in order for them to be more productive and give their children education and access to better healthcare.
He also said the state government is implementing a ranching project in Damau Grazing Reserve in Kubau Local Government Area of Kaduna State and that the project will enable the herders to raise their cattle in a facility with good pastures, school, and primary healthcare center with a commercial partner that will be ready to buy their milk anytime.